Maintaining a Safe Environment during Coronavirus

As we resume in-person worship on May 31, we are taking many precautions to ensure the health and safety of everyone who attends St. Philip's. Please read the information below so that you can know what to expect and what you can do during worship to maintain the health of others as well as yourself. 

  • For those who have any kind of pre-existing health condition, or who want to take more time before coming back to St. Philip’s, we support your decision. Sermons will still be made available by way of the weekly newsletter. There will be absolutely no judgment on those who decide to wait to come back, and we encourage all to err on the side of caution.

  • If you have been sick or have respiratory or other risk factors, you should stay home. Please stay home if you are or have been sick until you no longer have a fever for at least 72 hours. Any questions regarding illness, please call New River Health District COVID-19 hotline at (540) 267-8240.  

  • Mass will be at 11:00 am on Sunday and 12:00 pm on Wednesday. There will be no coffee hour after mass for the foreseeable future. We will  ensure the building is thoroughly cleaned, disinfected, and sanitized after each Mass. 


  • We will continue to practice social distancing and ask that people not sit directly behind others in the pews. We will need to keep the six feet recommended distance, which means we will scatter throughout the entire nave. This recommendation does not include family units that live together.   


  • We will have one usher who will help keep the appropriate distance to direct the parish during the distribution of the sacrament.


  • Tithes and alms can be placed in the offering plate near the baptismal font. We will not be passing plates in the pews during the liturgy.


  • During the distribution of the Eucharist, we will not kneel at the altar rail. We will line up in the middle aisle in a single line, keeping six feet of distance. We will receive the sacrament in one kind (host), not the chalice. The priest will commune you by placing the host on your hand while you stand. During the distribution, he will wear a mask and sanitize his hands before Holy Communion. Here is the correct understanding of receiving Holy Communion under one kind from Bishop Chandler Jones:

    • Our Lord is present fully and entirely under both forms of Bread and Wine: we receive Our Lord whole and entire and total under each separate sacred kind. Therefore, one can receive the Eucharist in the form of Bread only or Wine only and receive the whole Christ. This doctrine is called concomitance, 'with-one-ness.'  We confess that in the Eucharist, after the consecration, the Body and Blood of Christ are substantially and truly present, and we believe that the entire Christ is present under each form, so that the Blood of Christ is no less present under the form of bread by concomitance than it is under the form of the wine, and the reverse.


  • Older people and those with other risk factors are encouraged to sit up front so they can receive the sacrament first.


  • Please sanitize your hands before you line up to receive Holy Communion.  


  • If you are wearing a mask, please lower it as you approach the priest to receive the host during Holy Communion.  


  • We will refrain from hugging or shaking hands to ensure safety.  


  • After Mass and at the conclusion of our service, we ask that people volunteer to help wipe down pews and other surfaces. Sanitation wipes will be placed on the back table where we normally have coffee hour.